- Florida Keys Trip Report (Introduction)
- Hampton Inn Key Largo Hotel Review (Florida Keys Trip Report)
- Key Largo and Everglades (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
- Casa Marina Key West – Waldorf Astoria – Hotel Review (Florida Keys 2014 Trip Report)
- Key West, Part 1 (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
- Key West, Part 2 (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
- Angler’s Hotel Miami – Hotel Review (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
- Miami and South Beach (Florida Keys Trip 2014)
Can I just say how much I LOVED Key West? I mean, seriously loved it. There was so much to do, so many good places to eat, and it was just so laid back and beautiful. I had been there once before, but I was like 13 and we only stopped there for a few hours on a cruise destination. Do kids actually enjoy anything when they’re 13? Probably not, because I barely remembered anything about Key West.
But this time? So many memories!
Driving along the Overseas Highway (Key Largo to Key West)
We started with our drive along Overseas Highway from Key Largo to Key West.
It appears that there was an old highway, or perhaps train tracks, that ran parallel to the Overseas Highway that was open to pedestrians. But large chunks were missing in places!
Like in our Key Largo drives, Ken set up a timelapse to record our drive from Key Largo to Key West. Once we were back, he created a map overlay using geosynced coordinates (which he tracks using a Garmin handheld GPS) and the Google Maps API.
We arrived in Key West, got checked into the Casa Marina, relaxed for a bit from our drive, and then headed out to explore Key West a little bit before the sun set. We had a taxi take us to the Mallory Square area, which was a perfect central location to begin exploring.
The actual Mallory Square part is popular for watching Key West sunsets, and I had read online that it could be extremely crowded at sunset, and loud as well with street performers. Both warnings lived up to the expectations. Crowded and loud. We snapped a few photos of sunset and then continued our walk and headed to dinner (more on where we ate in a future post!)
The next day was chock full of activities. We started with the Ernest Hemingway Home.
The Ernest Hemingway Home is, of course, famous for the author. But one could also argue that it’s famous for it’s 6-toed cats!
At the time we were visiting, there were 51 cats living on the premises.
They even hang out in the restrooms on the premises.
Oh, and in the gift shop too!
Tours of the house start every 15 minutes or so. After hanging out and taking pictures of cats for a while, we joined a tour that was starting.
Clearly the cats are not subject to the same rules as humans and are allowed to sit on the furniture, despite the signs!
One of Hemingway’s ex-wives spent an ungodly amount of money to install this swimming pool at his house. ($20,000 in 1938 dollars. That’s the equivalent of nearly $350,000 today) At the time, it was the biggest swimming pool in Key West!
Another fun feature: This fountain that had been a urinal from one of Hemingway’s favorite bars in Key West.
The tour was really fantastic. After the organized tour was over, we just hung out on the grounds for a while, exploring (as well as relaxing on some benches!)
We also noticed the cat cemetery, which includes a plaque of all the deceased cats.
The even have their own replica Hemingway House to live in on the grounds!
West Martello Tower / Key West Garden Club
Our next stop was West Martello Tower / Key West Garden Club, a short walk from our hotel. It was originally meant to be a fort, but was never finished and eventually was not needed. Now it serves as a botanical garden!
Through the gates were some fantastic ocean views!
Around Key West
So many of our photographs from Key West are not of particular sites or attractions. Like on this walk from West Martello Tower back to our hotel, we just stopped and enjoyed a bunch of things along the way!
We walked down this pier (White Street Pier). Although it had fantastic views, the pier itself was in rough shape (cracked concrete, rust stains, etc.)
And we walked by this beach that looked like a nice size public beach in Key West.
After our walk, we headed back to the hotel to relax for a little bit on some hammocks! Then we headed out for dinner and enjoyed the beautiful Key West November weather! The next day was full of activities too!